News / Africa

Ivory Coast Youth Sign Up for Gbagbo Army

Youth supporters of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo gather at a stadium at army headquarters to sign up for military service in Abidjan, March 21, 2011
Youth supporters of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo gather at a stadium at army headquarters to sign up for military service in Abidjan, March 21, 2011
Anne Look

Ivory Coast is teetering closer and closer to a return to civil war, as Laurent Gbagbo continues to cling to power nearly four months after a presidential election that the United Nations and much of the international community say he lost to rival, Alassane Ouattara.

Thousands of pro-Gbagbo youth waited outside army headquarters in Abidjan Monday morning to join the nation's military, which has been involved in heavy fighting with forces loyal to Mr. Ouattara.

They are responding to a call to enlist from Charles Ble-Goude, leader of militant group The Young Patriots, who has been accused of inciting attacks against civilians and U.N. peacekeepers.

Addressing a Young Patriots rally Saturday, Ble-Goude asks the youth of the country if they are ready to join the army to serve their country to which the crowd responds, shouting "We want to free Ivory Coast!"

The United Nations says 30 civilians were killed in a mortar attack Thursday on a market in Abobo, a pro-Ouattara neighborhood of Abidjan that has become a focal point of violence.

U.N. Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, says those shelling attacks by forces loyal to Gbagbo may amount to crimes against humanity.

Gbagbo's government denies any involvement in that attack, saying the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast is not credible because it is backing pro-Ouattara rebels.

The United Nations says 435 people have been killed and another 450,000 forced from their homes since the crisis began.

Thousands fleeing the violence in Abidjan gathered at its main bus station Sunday. Weighed down by suitcases full of whatever belongings they could carry, many had to push and shove their way  onto crowded buses.

Standing in a bus shelter, civil servant, Adama Diawara, says they are leaving Abidjan now. He says with the mortars falling on them, on their roofs, day and night, they don't know what to do. He says they are tired and the international community must help them.

Ticket sellers were taking advantage of the situation by buying up bus tickets and then charging double.

Aicha Diabate says they've been waiting since the day before yesterday and only just managed to get a ticket for 2 a.m. She says now they cannot get into the bus to Bouake because people who do not have tickets are paying the driver extra to get on.

The heaviest fighting has taken place in Abidjan, but clashes have also taken place in the country's troubled West, where northern rebels loyal to Ouattara have pushed south.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid